Turbines will not impact PCB site province says

Ministry has no concerns over vibrations

While the ministry has no concerns about contamination, it is requiring the monitoring of residential wells.

“As a condition of the ministry’s approval of the wind farm, the company must undertake both a pre and post construction monitoring program for nearby residential wells,” Jordan said.

WEST LINCOLN — Wind turbines will not disrupt PCBs stored in bedrock near the Smithville Industrial Park says the Ministry of Environment.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were stored in tanks at an industrial waste transfer facility in Smithville from 1979 to 1985. During that time, the industrial chemicals leached into an on-site lagoon, contaminating groundwater. PCBs do not break down and while surface soils were destroyed, they chemical compounds still exist in the bedrock. The government has spent millions to control the site and continues to monitor it three decades later.

Residents raised concerns about the proximity of the wind farm to the contamination site during the renewable energy approvals process and have again been raising concerns. The subject came up at the May West Lincoln planning and development meeting and staff were directed to look into whether the ministry had considered impacts on the contamination site when granting approval to Niagara Region Wind Corp.

The answer to those questions, which were reported back to council last week, was yes, they did, and no, they were not concerned.

“No impacts on the containment of this contaminant source are anticipated a result of this project,” the ministry informed planning director Brian Treble.

Ministry spokesperson Kate Jordan told The News the application met noise requirements, minimum setbacks and other approval requirements. She also noted the company, Enercon Canada Inc. which recently acquired the project, has committed to implementing appropriate construction protocols as well as a complaint resolution process. While the ministry has no concerns about contamination, it is requiring the monitoring of residential wells.

“As a condition of the ministry’s approval of the wind farm, the company must undertake both a pre and post construction monitoring program for nearby residential wells,” Jordan said.

The government approved the 77-turbine wind farm in November and construction is set to begin soon. At last week’s council meeting, Treble updated council on the status of the project. The township has issued 11 building permits and is in the process of reviewing eight others. Another 22 applications were submitted July 8.

Turbine builder Enercon recently announced it had acquired a majority stake in the project. The company also unveiled the launching of its newest manufacturing facility in Port Weller. The facility will produce Enercon’s patented pre-case concrete segments for wind turbine towers.

German-based Enercon also has a converter and control panel factory in Beamsville

Grimsby Lincoln News By Amanda Moore, July 27 2015

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